I’ve got good news today…well actually it happened on Tuesday: I finally received my Business Registration Certificate!! BRAVO!. Feel like I’ve fought a real battle and WON but without any fanfare or trumpets! I’ll tell you why: in exchange for not succumbing to any shady tricks, I sacificed precious time.
In continuation, to my previous posts (read Part 1 and Part 2), I went to the OARG on Monday and I finally got the NRA personnel who was missingon Friday – to sign the written statement. My Business Registration was then printed but it had no signature and after waiting for an hour or so, I gave up and told Mr B. I’ll come back on Tuesday.
During this waiting period, I had an interesting conversation with a guy there who seemed to be in the same predicament as myself. He said he made a deal with one of the guys working there (he pointed to the man) to set up his company for him. Initially, the guy had said he’ll charge him Le660,000 and he haggled it down to Le500,000. Remember, I also know 2 people at least who’ve paid Le600,000 or more each to get it done for them. Now inspite of his payment, this man still hadn’t received his last certificate on the 5th Business day.
According to the official notice displayed at the premises, it should take 1-3 business days.
It took me approximately 12 business days and looking at my receipts it cost me Le305,000 AND a lot of WASTED TIME!! I guess, the idea is to frustrate you till you hand it over to someone working there to do it for you ata fee – of course!
This is a sorry state of affairs and I guess the worldbank agrees with me – Click here to see the Doing Business In Sierra Leone Index. It’s a pity that people who want to do business and bring much needed employment etc have to go through needless hassle and expense.
It takes TWO to tango in the corruption game – the giver and the receiver. Should we give up on a system that’s is plainly wrong and pay our way to get things done? If I start paying now, – at the inception of a business – when is it going to stop? Would I have to slip money into someone’s hand for an invoice to be paid, official documents to be signed etc? Is it true that you have to be corrupt to do business in Mama Salone? So are all Salone business men corrupt? I doubt it.
There are always the few who will not bow down to the god of corruption. The trick is to increase the number of people who’ll stand up for their rights and change the system. I also heard from the grapevine that there’s modernisation coming to the office of the OARG. Hopefully, that will make it easier for future entrepreneurs.
As for me, I cannot succumb to petty theivry and day-light robbery. I look forward to a brighter business future.